Orbital Tumors and Inflammations

The area, or socket, behind your eye is called the orbit. It protects the eyeball and contains bone, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, any of which may develop a tumor or inflammation. 
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This can cause pain, redness, a bulging eyeball, or vision disturbances. Your optic nerve runs through the orbit, carrying signals from the eye to the brain.

Our Approach

Patients diagnosed with orbital tumors and inflammations have the benefit of working with one of the largest ophthalmology programs in the United States. These experts provide sophisticated technology and compassionate care for you and your child. Our oculoplastic surgeons are specially trained in the delicate work of plastic surgery around the eyes including orbital surgery.

For small orbital tumors, your physician may choose to watch it over time. But those causing visual changes, discomfort, or disfigurement can be removed surgically. Many tumors can be removed with small incisions hidden in the upper or lower eyelid. If a tumor is found to be malignant, you may be treated with radiation or chemotherapy.

Many physicians at the University of Minnesota participate in clinical trials. Patients treated at the university have access to more clinical trials than anywhere else in Minnesota. Discoveries made here often become the standard of care around the world. Ask your physician about a clinical trial.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures


Chemotherapy is a treatment option for adults or children with cancer using drugs that kill cancer cells. Often simply called “chemo,” chemotherapy is a combination of medications designed to destroy cancer cells, cause remission of your cancer or actually cure the cancer.
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TomoTherapy is a specialized form of radiation delivery that combines radiation therapy with 3D imaging to create more precise targeting of tumors. It works by delivering radiation beams from multiple directions allowing the radiation to match the exact shape of the tumor.
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Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment with great promise and limited toxicity. Its goal is to harness the power of the patient’s immune system and use it to fight cancer. Sometimes called biological therapy, it's changing the way we think about cancer treatment.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Radiation Therapy
  • General Surgery